The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Five Ways to Promote Yourself Better on Instagram

When it comes to personal branding, Instagram has become one of the top social media platforms to promote yourself on.  A recent report from Morning Consult showed that 40% of millennial women preferred the network to follow influencers on compared to 26% on Facebook & just 2% on Twitter. Millennial men also favored Instagram for the same purposes over every other platform except for YouTube. These numbers only grew bigger when Gen Zs were brought into the equation.

Chart of favorite social media platforms to follow influencers on.

Data from

Whether you’re just getting your personal brand off the ground, or a seasoned influencer who has hit a wall adding relevant followers, applying any or all of the five tips below to your Instagram promotional strategy may be just what you need to grow or increase your existing following.

Up Your #Hashtag Game

Using appropriate hashtags on Instagram is essential to increasing your reach & finding new followers, but how to you find the best one’s to use? Many marketing experts commonly recommend using a web-based service such as Brand24 to find relevant ones that are currently trending on the platform. While this can certainly be helpful, you’re also going to be competing with millions of other Instagramers for visibility under the same tags, which can be rather daunting if you aren’t very popular on the network.

A more refined approach would be to search the platform for individuals in the same field as you with strong followings and lots of user activity. Then, create a list of hashtags they are using in their posts. From there, you can start experimenting with different combinations in your own posts and begin taking notes on which ones are generating the most impressions & user engagement.

Better yet, you can get a precise assessment of which hashtags are performing best with a web based app like SproutSocial’s Instagram analytics suite. This eliminates any lengthy research and allows you to quickly piece together your most effective hashtag combinations to use

Instagram hashtags

Post Something Everyday

Instagram is a network that is much more content hungry than the likes of Facebook & YouTube, which is why the most popular brands and influencers here are also the ones who post consistently & frequently, some even multiple times a day. Publishing a photo once or twice a week simply isn’t going to cut it if you want to build and maintain a strong following.

This doesn’t mean every post has to be epic, but you want something decent to put into your followers feeds frequently so you can stay visible and relevant. Here’s Why.

Instagram’s algorithm gives priority to posts in user’s feeds that are newer as they want to consistently serve the network content that is fresh & engaging. Also. frequent postings increase your visibility overall which greatly improves your chances of new users finding you and becoming a follower!

Don’t have enough resources to produce enough content for daily distribution?

Recycling or repurposing your existing content is a great way to increase the amount of material you have in your arsenal when you are pressed with a tight budget or time restraints. This can be as simple as extracting catchy quotes from your videos, books, or blog posts and putting them into relevant images using a free online image app like Canva, or a little more technical by taking the storyline from a video you posted on another account and turning it into an Instagram story.

Learn the Best Times to Post

Posting content when your audience is most likely to see it seems self-explanatory. However, Instagram also gives priority to posts with more likes and comments. Therefore, the more people that see your post, the more engagement its likely to receive. In turn, your chances of gaining more followers increases as Instagram will promote it to more people! Instagram’s free Insights feature provides you with data on when your followers are most commonly on the platform under the audience category.

Instagram Insights picture

Many paid social media marketing web suites such as the one from Later will also analyze your posts and provide you with more precise times to best reach your audience.

Constantly Engage with your Followers

This tip may seem like another no brainer; however, it takes little effort to find people and brands on social media that don’t actively respond to the comments of their followers. After all, one of the main points of the social medium as a brand (personal or not) is to develop a two way conversation with your customers and fans, since this is why they are following you in the first place!

Instagram knows this all too well and has confirmed that posts with more comments are given a higher priority on the platform. Therefore, you not only want to quickly respond to any comments your posts receive, you also want to encourage users to leave them! This can be done by placing a question in your posts to encourage users to leave a response.

For instance, a fashion influencer may simply ask how she looks in the glasses she’s modeling, while a gaming influencer could end his post by asking his followers which level or character they liked best from the game he demoed.

Consider Paying Instagram to Promote Certain Posts

If your posting engaging content on a consistent basis, during the optimum times, and under your best hashtags, and are still failing to get noticeable results, you may want to try boosting some of the posts on your feed.

Paying for a promoted post will greatly improve its visibility and reach to a segmented audience of your choosing. This will provide you with a quick and noticeable boost in brand awareness, which can also lead to more followers and sales assuming your post is effective at engaging the audience you selected.

This last part is key, as posts that have already failed to stir up any meaningful engagement with your existing following are unlikely to do the same with an expanded audience. Thus, only pay to promote Instagram posts with the highest numbers of likes, comments, and sends, which can be found by clicking on View Insights located at the bottom of a published post.


Promoting yourself on Instagram has become one of the best ways to advertise your personal brand. Thus, it really pays to put in the extra effort if your not seeing good results. If you have any Instagram marketing tips you’d like to share, please leave them in the comments below!

Category: Social Media Marketing 201